Folks often ask me what gear I use. Here’s a list of gear I depend on and recommend. Photography gear is ultimately about what works best for you.
I have been a Nikon shooter since 1989. What I love about this brand is that all my Nikon lenses from my film camera, the N6006, work with my latest Nikon cameras. I have purchased used Nikon lenses through the years. I have 35 & 40-year-old lenses that work perfectly with all my cameras. It is one of many reasons I depend on this brand. Glass is expensive. Nothing is more aggravating than upgrading the camera body and discovering your old lenses no longer work.
Nikon D850. This full-frame 45.7 MP camera has an amazing dynamic range. I call it my cat-eyed camera. It is my primary camera. It has focus-peaking, silent shutter, focus stacking, built-in intervalometer, touchscreen, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth as well as the ability to digitize negatives.
Nikon D780. I use this 24.5 MP camera heavily in conjunction with my D850. It has a maximum shutter speed of 15 minutes. Like the D850, it has focus-peaking, built-in intervalometer, silent shutter, focus stacking, touchscreen, WiFi & Bluetooth.
Nikon Z6. This mirrorless camera is dedicated for deep space and astro photography. I converted it to h-alpha infrared. I use it on a Takahashi telescope as well as normal lenses. Using a hot mirror filter (aka UV/IR Cut Filter) lets the camera behave as an unconverted camera. Like the D850, it has focus-peaking, built-in intervalometer, silent shutter, focus stacking, touchscreen, WiFi & Bluetooth.
Nikon D800. As an infrared photographer, I prefer shooting infrared with a camera that has great resolution. This camera has a 36.6 MP sensor. It was converted to a full-spectrum infrared. I use this for just about any application, including astrophotography and astrolandscapes as well. The built-in intervalometer is great for time-lapse.
Glass. I confess I love lenses. I have a variety of glass in my kit. I have prime lenses and a variety of telephoto lenses. All of them serve a purpose and/or specific application. Most of them are auto-focus. Some are fully manual, specifically the 3-rd party brands that I don’t have to be concerned about potential incompatibility when I upgrade the camera body. The ones listed are the ones I use regularly.
Nikon 14-24mm AF-S f/2.8. This is probably my absolute favorite lens. It is ridiculously sharp edge to edge. I’ve been using it for years and it knocks my socks off every time I use it. It is my main glass when shooting astrolandscapes. Outstanding lens. It is one of the “Holy Grail” of lenses.
Nikon 24-70mm AF-S f/2.8. The second lens of the “Holy Grail” trio. I use this for portraits, infrared, and astrolandscapes. Fast and super sharp.
Nikon 70-200mm AF-S f/2.8. The third lens of the “Holy Grail” trifecta. This is super sharp and fast, perfect for a multitude of applications. It’s famous for portraits, including portraits of comets. I used this lens to photograph Comet Neowise.
Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6. Super fast focusing, this lens is great for fast-moving subjects like birds and race cars, but I also use it for photographing insects, flowers, and the Moon.
Rokinon 14mm. This lens is great for astro-landscapes. It is fast and sharp. I went through 4 iterations of the lens before I got a sharp one but for the price, it is worth dealing with Rokinon’s QC issues. Get one through a vendor that will accept numerous returns. When you get a sharp one, it’s stellar (no pun intended).
Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6. This is my walkabout lens. It has the perfect focal range, wide-angle to telephoto. Oddly it is a much-maligned lens and in my opinion, unjustified. I have traveled far with this lens with great results.
A must have for any photographer. My first tripod was a Bogen 3036. A beast of a tripod, rock solid and heavy, I used it for my camera and telescope. I still have this tripod but only use it for astronomy as it’s too heavy to lug around on the field. I mostly use carbon-fiber Induro and Benro tripods (Benro now owns Induro). These handle everything I throw at them – landscape, macro, astrolandscape, time-lapse, and everything in-between. Super solid and lightweight.
Induro GIT203 Grand Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber. My workhorse tripod. It is lightweight and handles anything I throw at it from portraits to time-lapse sliders.
Benro TMA28C Series 2 Mach3 Carbon Fiber Tripod. A carbon fiber tripod, it is a staple in my kit. Solid and reliable.
Oben TT-100 Table Top Tripod. Tiny and mighty. This holds a full-frame DSLR. It comes with a ball head, but I replaced it with an arca-type one.
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